Tied for the ninth spot on Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll is Rihanna’s ‘Work,’ probably the least interesting song on her excellent album Anti. Anti shows up at #13 on the albums list.
Coming in at #11 is ‘No Problem’ by Chance the Rapper. His album, Coloring Book, was named the fourth best of the year. If this song is any indication, Chance the Rapper isn’t for me, although I’ve heard enough good things about him that maybe I should give him another chance.
Wrapping up a rather depressing two weeks of Billboard tracks — how many boring, offensive or boring and offensive songs can be popular at once? — we land at #14 and a new track from Nicki Minaj.
In the 13th spot was Meghan Trainor with ‘Lips Are Movin’,’ which sounds like the freaking Beatles compared to most of this dreck.
I have high hopes for Minaj, though, even if I’m unimpressed with Drake and Lil Wayne, her collaborators on this track. Minaj is always interesting, if nothing else.
Here’s one of those all-star rap collaborations that crop up all over the place. It’s interesting how rap is the one genre where it’s expected that everybody shows up on everybody else’s records.
Certainly there are guest stars and collaborations on albums of all sorts (the new Brad Paisley features duets with Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and Don Henley) but in rap, it’s an expectation.
First you have the apprenticeship phase, where a rapper makes guest appearances on other people’s albums before releasing his own. Eminem made his splash rapping alongside Dr. Dre before he dropped his first solo album. Nicki Minaj had done about a dozen celebrated guest turns before her album came out. It’s an effective way to introduce an artist to the fans and build excitement so that even a debut album can be a smash hit upon release.
A few days ago I reviewed TV on the Radio’s new album, Dear Science, following a swarm of year-end critical accolades and came to an unequivocal verdict: Believe the hype.
Today I look at Lil Wayne’s equally praised Tha Carter III and my opinion is equally unequivocal: Don’t believe the hype. The best thing about this album is its cover art… it’s all downhill once you get to the music.